HOW TO KEEP YOUR GIFT?
Rila Monastery – Bulgaria
If a man has some spiritual gift and feels compassion for those who do not have it, he preserves the gift because of his compassion.
But a boastful man will lose it through succumbing to the temptations of boastfulness.
That’s why you should not become a disciple of a person who praises himself, because in that case, you will learn pride instead of humility.
Do not grow conceited about your interpretations of Scripture, lest your intellect falls victim to blasphemy.
Also, do not attempt to explain something difficult with contentiousness, but in the way which spiritual law enjoins: with patience, prayer and unwavering hope.
Vigils, prayer, and patient acceptance of what will come, help the heart. This will break the heart in a way that does not harm but benefits it. This will happen provided we do not destroy the balance between the heart and prayer through excess. He who perseveres in them will be helped in other ways as well, but he who is slack and negligent will suffer intolerably because of leaving this life.
A self-indulgent heart becomes a prison and chain for the soul when it leaves this life, whereas an assiduous heart is an open door.
Based on Saint Mark the Ascetic